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Iran demands ‘strong’ economic guarantees in JCPOA revival talks: FM Amir-Abdollahian

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says it is a “necessity” for Iran to gain economic benefits from the 2015 agreement and thus wants “strong” guarantees in talks on a potential revival of the deal, which the US abandoned unilaterally three years after its conclusion.

“We seek strong economic guarantees. If a Western company signs a contract with its Iranian counterpart, it must rest assured that its project will be implemented and it will receive compensation in case new sanctions are imposed,” Amir-Abdollahian, who is on a visit to Rome, said in a Wednesday interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

The top Iranian diplomat added that the issue of guarantees is one of the biggest obstacles in the talks aimed at restoring the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In the interview, Amir-Abdollahian was asked about reports on Washington's refusal to remove the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from its blacklist.

He said during last month’s indirect talks between Iran and the US — mediated by the European Union — in the Qatari capital of Doha, Tehran proposed putting off the issues related to Washington's so-called list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

“But we must be certain that the Iranian companies enjoy the economic benefits and their own share of the agreement. Making economic benefits in the JCPOA is a necessity. We do not ask for anything that goes beyond the nuclear agreement,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

He noted that Tehran and Washington are in contact through the EU on possible ways to remove anti-Iran sanctions, saying both sides should have flexibility and initiatives.

Iran and the US concluded two days of indirect talks, mediated by the European Union, in the Qatari capital of Doha, late last month in an attempt to break the stalemate in reviving the JCPOA.

At the end of the talks, Iran and the EU said they would keep in touch “about the continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks.”

The talks in Doha followed seven rounds of negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA since April last year.

The talks were put on hold as Washington insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs through measures such as removing the IRGC from its foreign terrorist organization list.

Iran maintains that the IRGC’s designation in 2019 was part of former President Donald Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and, therefore, it has to be reversed unconditionally.

‘Iran opposes Russian military operation in Ukraine’

Elsewhere in his interview, the Iranian foreign minister expressed his country’s opposition to the war between Russia and Ukraine, vowing to continue efforts to help bring about a ceasefire during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled visit in Tehran.

“Since the beginning of the conflict, we clearly announced our position, and by that, I mean we are against Russia’s military action in Ukraine,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

Pointing to several contacts with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, he added that Iran has made efforts since the beginning of the war to stop it and to initiate political negotiations between the parties involved.

“We are convinced war is not the solution for Ukraine and that even if the conflict lasts for a long time, there will be no other way to resolve it other than through negotiations,” the top Iranian diplomat pointed out.


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